Top 10 Best Tanzania Safari Lodges & Camps
Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.
Tanzania is one of the most highly rated safari destinations in Africa. It is home to several iconic parks, such as Serengeti National Park and Nyerere (formerly Selous Game Reserve) National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater. These safari hot spots are serviced by a great variety of lodges and camps. Whether you’re looking for an old-school tented camp with maximum bush ambience or a luxurious designer lodge with all the mod cons, there are accommodation options covering all budgets and styles. If you need some tips on where to stay in Tanzania, here are 10 of our favorite Tanzania safari lodges and camps:
1. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is one of the most striking Tanzanian safari lodges. The description in the brochures, ‘where Maasai meets Versailles’, sums it up. The 30-suite lodge features a unique and eclectic mix of Victorian splendor and African materials. And while you will be wowed by the architecture and furnishings, the views will totally blow you away. Set on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, the lodge is perfectly located to explore one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth.
2. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
In the shade of an ancient mahogany forest lies Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. It comprises nine sophisticated stilted treehouse suites oozing tranquility and serenity. As the only lodge inside Lake Manyara National Park, it offers a unique wilderness experience just a stone’s throw from the flamingo-filled lake in the heart of the Rift Valley.
3. Sayari Camp
The award-winning Sayari Camp, based in Northern Serengeti, is one of the best places to stay to witness the wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the great migration. The camp features 15 tented suites with alfresco bathtubs and private verandas looking out over the savannah plains. Other noteworthy features are the infinity pool, the rejuvenating spa and a solar-powered microbrewery – the first of its kind in the bush.
4. Greystoke Mahale
Set on a private sandy beach against a backdrop of jungle-clad mountains, Greystoke Mahale evokes a sense of adventure and mystique. The main reason for visiting this remote retreat on the shore of Lake Tanganyika is the thriving population of chimpanzees. Mornings are spent tracking these agile apes, but afternoons are free for boating, swimming or just relaxing in paradise. Six double-story chalets built out of salvaged dhow wood blend into the surroundings. The simple thatched communal dining room and lounge is totally open to the elements, with an upstairs sitting area to enjoy sunset views over the lake.
5. Sand Rivers Selous
Sand Rivers Selous is one of the top Tanzania safari lodges. Located deep in the wilderness of Nyerere NP, the lodge offers sweeping views over the mighty Rufiji River. Guests are accommodated in just eight spacious open-fronted cottages. The minimalist architecture ensures a welcome breeze from the river runs through camp. Staying at Sand Rivers is an adventure. Aside from game drives, boat trips on one of Africa’s most scenic rivers, exhilarating walking safaris and fly camping are all on the agenda.
6. The Highlands
Set on the forested slopes of Olmoti Volcano in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies the Highlands. Although very remote, the lodge is a great base for exploring the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, as well as visiting the local Maasai community. The lodge has a striking design inspired by a traditional Maasai homestead. Accommodation is in eight glass-and-canvas domes offering sweeping views over the Serengeti. At the heart of the camp is a well-stocked library, a place where guests assemble around the fire in the evening to share their day’s adventures.
7. Tarangire Treetops
Another one of the best Tanzania safari camps is Tarangire Treetops. Set in a private game reserve bordering Tarangire National Park, the lodge offers spectacular views of Mt Kilimanjaro, the Rift Valley wall and Lake Manyara. Twenty spacious treehouses with double showers and private balconies are built high off the ground in baobab and marula trees. The main guest area encases a thousand-year-old baobab tree, and a sparkling pool overlooks a watering hole attracting thirsty animals from far and wide.
8. Lamai Serengeti
Lamai Serengeti sits right on top of Kogakuria Kopje, a large pileup of giant boulders. From this vantage point you can enjoy uninterrupted views over the Mara River Valley, a prime wildlife area in Northern Serengeti. The lodge is a perfect base to see the seasonal Mara River crossings where thousands of wildebeest and zebras hurl themselves into the crocodile-infested water in search of greener pastures. Twelve family-friendly tents are split between two camps, Main Camp and the more intimate Private Camp, perfect to be booked entirely by a small group of family or friends.
9. Mwagusi Safari Camp
Mwagusi Safari Camp is an owner-managed lodge that’s been operating since the 1980s. Its homely, unpretentious atmosphere makes it a favorite with repeat visitors to Ruaha National Park. It is located on a secluded spot on the banks of the seasonal Mwagusi Sand River, a natural animal corridor. This is a great choice for a traditional old-school tented camp safari experience with superb wildlife viewing on its doorstep.
10. Mnemba Island
Mnemba Island is a romantic hideaway off the Zanzibar coast. The uninhabited island features just 12 rustic beach bandas (thatched houses). After a busy safari, this is the perfect place to relax on your private stretch of beach, and sample fresh seafood prepared with exotic spices for which Zanzibar is known. For a bit of adventure you can snorkel straight off the beach or take a short boat trip to Mnemba Atoll.
Safari Tours to Tanzania
3-Day Jewels of Tanzania - Mid-Range
$1,260 to $1,560 pp (USD)
Tanzania: Private tour
Mid-rangeLodge & Tented Camp
You Visit: Arusha (Start), Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha (End)
Soul of Tanzania
5.0/5 – 288 Reviews
7-Day Tarangire, Ngorongoro & Serengeti Luxury Tour
$2,881 to $3,423 pp (USD)
Tanzania: Private tourLuxuryLodge
You Visit: Kilimanjaro Airport (Start), Tarangire NP, Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara NP, Arusha (End)
Seven Wonders Safaris
5.0/5 – 129 Reviews
3-Day 2 Nights Serengeti Last Minutes Offer
$3,500 pp (USD)
Tanzania: Private tourLuxuryTented Bush Camp
You Visit: Dar Es Salaam (Start), Serengeti NP, Dar Es Salaam (End)
Tanzania Mwangaza Safari
4.9/5 – 237 Reviews